Sunday, 11 April 2021

Recipe Round-Up: Bowls of Goodness

Hi friends, here is a recipe round-up post. I had it sitting in drafts mostly written for ages, so I just added a couple of other ones I had made so I could post it. This is the second half of my 'recent' round ups from this book, the first half I posted on the 22nd of November... who would know that five days later my world would crumble so completely.

Anyway, please enjoy this post of recipes rounded up from Bowls of Goodness by Nina Olsson, which is a very good book. I realised that this is quite a long post, so feel free to just scroll down and look at the photos as you go. You can see my other posts from this book here.

Asian Coleslaw: I had some wombok (aka napa) cabbage to use up, and happened to have all the ingredients on hand for this. The slaw itself is made from white cabbage (wombok in my case) and apples, but I also added some carrot. It is tossed with a coleslaw dressing that includes peanut butter and lime for a bit of a difference. The dressing combined with the shredded apple made it all very liquid. I served this with some roasted green beans and some BBQ sausages.
Rating: :)

Asian Colelsaw

Gado Gado: The peanut sauce in this recipe called for both tamarind and lime, and as a result was really sour. I wonder if the recipe should have read one of either. I added some leftover marinade from the tempeh (which was garlic/ginger/soy/maple) to try and smooth out the sour, plus some extra agave, but it was still so sour and the peanut taste was lost. The rest of this bowl has marinated tempeh, black rice, green beans, toasted coconut, bean sprouts, papaya, and coriander. The bowl itself was good, but the sauce needs a major reworking.
Rating: :| due to sauce

Gado Gado

Masala and Millet Bowl: Millet is one of those grains that doesn't get enough love, but I am here to love it. In this case, the millet is mixed with roasted vegetables (I used cauliflower, radish, carrot, and cherry tomatoes) and chickpeas. The vegetables and chickpeas are tossed with spices (I left out the chili powder) before roasting. The bowl is topped with avocado, nuts or seeds (I used pepitas) and a herbed yoghurt sauce. The avocado and sauce were essential, as it would have been a bit dry without it. But lovely when all mixed up. I also served this over some baby spinach.
Rating: :)

Masala and Millet Bowl

Laksa Noodles: It's your girl, here making laksa without chili and not as coconutty! This recipe includes making your own laksa paste, and seems a bit fussy but once you have made the paste and prepped the rest it comes together very fast. Obviously I left out the sambal oelek in the paste, to get all that gingery garlicky lemongrassy goodness without the spicy, so I understand that I made it not really a laksa, but it worked for me. The noodles also have tofu,mushroom, broccoli, green beans, and beansprouts on top. My amounts were a bit different to what the recipe called for, but overall it added up to about the same. I also used light coconut milk further diluted with some water in the broth, so I could enjoy the creamy without making myself sick. The noodles are topped with a quick pickled cucumber, that was also meant to have onions in it but I left them out.
Rating: :)

Laksa Noodles

Slutty Pasta: I love puttanesca. It is tasty and normally comes together very quickly. This one is a bit more time intensice, as it involves roasting some tomatoes, onions, and garlic that are blended to make the sauce with basil and olives (and chili, which I left out). I didn't add any extra pasta water to the sauce, as it was already plenty of sauce. And I am glad I didn't as the sauce could have been a bit richer as it was so adding water would have made it quite dilute. As it was I had about twice the amount of sauce I needed, so I froze the rest for an easy meal at a later time. I added some kidney beans to this to bulk it out, as well as some kalamata olives and capers, and topped with nooch.
Rating: :)

Slutty Pasta

Royal Korma: Another recipe where you make your own paste, and another instance where I left out the chili!The paste uses toasted almonds, but next time I would just use almond meal for ease. The paste is cooked with red onion, coconut milk (it calls for 800mL, so I used a mix of light coconut milk, oat milk, and water), and tiny diced carrots and cauliflower (I used a bag of ready made cauliflower rice). Served with brown rice, a simple raita, naan bread, and an apple and onion pickle (that I of course left the onion out of). This made big serves, but wasn't super filling.
Rating: :)

Royal Korma

The Loyal Lentil Chilli: An old standby but given a few fun twists. By now you know, this was not actual chilli, because I left out the chillies! My chillies are chill in the sense of having no heat. As well as lentils, the chilli also has butternut squash (which I love and gave a really nice sweetness). It also has coconut milk, so of course I did my as described above dilution trick. Do chillies have coconut milk> Does that really make it more of a curry? Oh, I also used some tinned lentils because making things more convenient is a good thing some days. This was served with a simple yoghurt sauce, a quick pickled cucumber, rice, and coriander. It was a lovely combination.
Rating: :)

The Loyal Lentil Chilli

Back To The Roots: This bowl is a comforting mix of broccoli mash, roasted veggies, sauteed kale, and carrot, tahini, and miso dressing. I used half the amount of broccoli and got three serves. The broccoli is mashed with tahini, lemon juice, and hemp seeds, so isn't very smooth! The roasted veggies are sweet potato and red onion as well as including some pumpkin seeds in the mix. The bowl is also served with some 'clean salad'... whatever, anyway, I only used spinach for my salad (not sprouts or herbs), which was lightly tossed in sesame oil and vinegar. But the real star was the sauce, which was SO YUM! Worth making on its own.
Rating: :), but :D for the sauce alone

Back to the Roots

Pulled Jackfruit Bowl: This recipe uses a homemade BBQ sauce to cook down jackfruit and shiitake mushrooms. It ended up being very liquid, so I had to simmer it enthusiastically for several minutes at the end to get the sauce to thicken up. No one wants watery jackfruit! The bowl is also served with some coleslaw (which was nice but had a strong taste of olive oil in the dressing), and some sweet potato fries. I also served it over some baby spinach. A nice combination.
Rating: :)

Pulled Jackfruit Bowl

Herbed Potatoes: I made a half recipe of this lovely side, which is roasted baby potatoes tossed with baby spinach and a dill pesto sauce. The pesto sauce was meant to be mostly based on chives, but all that raw chive action would not be good for my tummy. So I used extra parsley and some baby spinach in place of the chives. I also used some Vegenaise in the pesto in place of the optional creme fraiche. I roasted the potatoes a bit longer in my oven to get them nice and brown on the outside. Served with some store-bought BBQ tofu for a nice dinner.
Rating: :)

Herbed Potatoes

Friday, 9 April 2021

Midweek Munchies

I have so many random foods to share with you saved to my computer, so let's keep on keeping on.

A number of vegan 'fresh' minces are now available, and this is the Made With Plants one that I picked up on sale on day. I froze half for use in a future recipe from a cookbook, and used the other half to make some lunches. While the half I froze was designated to make meatballs, the other half I just fried up to try it out. As you can see, it kind of clumps together when you crumble it into the pan, so it didn't really 'brown' all that evenly.

Made With Plants Mince

Made From Plants Mince

I used it to make some baked potatoes for lunches and use up some other random bits and pieces. The first was a bolognese baked potato, which had a bit of leftover pasta sauce, some diced roasted eggplant, and baby spinach. And topped with some FYH parmesan.

Made From Plants Mince Bolognese Baked Potato

The next day I made a cheeseburger baked potato, which also had some cheesy sauce and nutritional yeast, and was topped with some shredded lettuce and the last bit of Coles Vegan Burger Sauce in the bottle.

Made With Plants Big Mac Baked Potato

Here's another one of those vegan Nutrish soup flavours, this one was the purple one called 'Tickle Me Purple'. As you can see, it has tomato, purple carrot, hemp and amaranth seeds, and acerola (apparently a berry rich in Vitamin C according to Google). Honestly, the seeds were just pointless and made it kind of weird and gritty. They were not needed. Otherwise it was OK.

Nutrish Soup Purple

I had another packet of that pudding, this time chocolate flavoured. Still with the gross stevia. I used some soy cream to blend it up this time, rather than oat milk, so it ended up a lot thicker. Served with some strawberries, but I still added some more strawberry jam after this photo to help with the stevia taste. If you need to cover up the stevia taste with sugar, then maybe just use sugar in the first place!

Instant Chocolate Pudding

Kingston Biscuits were one of my favourite biscuits from my pre-vegan days, and no one has ever really quite made a decent vegan version. So I was excited to see these Princetons available at the supermarket. Unfortunately, it ends at the name. The biscuit part is too dry, probably a side effect of being gluten free. And the chocolate in the middle was too sweet and kind of grainy. A miss for me.


Finally, this Vietnamese Pho sipping broth. It is basically a tea bag, but with pho broth ingredients inside instead. A very clever idea! Often when I am a bit under the weather, I wish I could just drink some pho broth. They also have some other flavours, though most of them have chilli in them. And they were also fairly pricey, given that there is just two little bags inside. The instructions say to steep for 3-5 minutes then discard the bag. Ignore this. Steep for longer, and then get a spoon and gently press the bag to get all the flavour out of it. Otherwise it just tastes like slightly pho-scented water. You need to press that bag to get the flavour out and into your mug properly. Then it is a lovely savoury broth.

Sipping broth

Monday, 5 April 2021

A New Year

I am not a New Year's person. I don't do resolutions. I don't really get excited that a change in the year is going to bring all sorts of new changes and excitement. Especially not this year, which was the first time waking up in a new year without any of my girls. I do still have a few food traditions though, because why not. So here they are.

Pumpkin Pizza from Cooking With Kindness: I always make pizza for dinner on New Year's Eve. This year I picked a simple pumpkin and feta pizza from one of my cookbooks (that I haven't really spoken about yet, but eventually will get its own post). Store-bought pizza dough (as opposed to pre-cooked pizza bases) has recently become available here, so I tried out one of them (which I will picture below). I wouldn't use this brand again. Even following the instructions, the dough didn't rise and it was so sticky and hard to spread out that I almost thought I was going to have to abort the whole thing. But, onto the pizza itself. I used some Leggo's Pizza Sauce to spread on (rather than just some crushed tinned tomatoes). It is topped with roasted butternut, sliced shallots, kalamata olives, Sheese Feta, and some leftover mozzarella sauce I had in the freezer from another cookbook. It was a wonderful mix of salty and sweet, and the feta and the cheese sauce melted into a wonderful stretchy mess.
Rating: :)

Pumpkin Pizza

Pizza Dough

Normally we follow up our pizza with some pie for dessert. I rarely make pies, they are effort, and this is one time of year I will make something fun. But this year, there was no energy or excitement for it. So I just went the easy route by heating up some individual Nanna's Vegan Apple and Rhubarb pies in the oven, and serving with some ice cream from my freezer stash.

Nanna's Vegan Apple and Rhubarb Pie with Pana Boysenberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Marmalade Pancakes from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen: New Year's Day is pancakes for breakfast day. And I am glad that I found the energy to make these as they were really nice. These had marmalade and dark chocolate chips gentle mixed through the batter. I got six regular sized pancakes and two bitty pancakes out of this. The recipe suggests serving dusted with powdered sugar, but that was a step too far for me for breakfast, so we went with maple syrup. Also served with some grapes. My brother lives in Spain with his partner and near her family, and apparently at midnight on New Years it is traditional in Spain to eat green grapes. I certainly was not up at midnight, but these were a nice fresh addition to our breakfast table.
Rating: :)

Marmalade Pancakes

Black-Eyed Peas from Vegan Diner: After pizza and pie and pancakes, I like my New Year's Day dinner to get back to basics with beans and greens and grains. I often will make something involving black-eyed peas, as these are traditionally served in parts of the US. Aside from brief moment in time, we can't get tinned black-eyed peas here, so it involves having some home cooked in the freezer, which I did not have. But I did have some dried one, and this recipe blessedly calls for those. I had soaked them over night before cooking. I made a half recipe of this, which gave three serves over rice. I left out the capsicum, but also added some chopped tomato and a lot of baby spinach (this recipe on its own doesn't have greens in it).
Rating: :)

Black-Eyed Peas

It is Easter Monday as I write this, and I am still waiting for my COVID test result. I don't have any food traditions with Easter except for a lot of hot cross buns, which I achieved. I also had bought a few vegan Easter eggs I was looking forward to trying yesterday, but because I have been sick my appetite is a bit wonky so I will save them for another time.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Christmas 2020

It's the easter weekend, so seems like a good time to show you what I ate for Christmas last year. I was not feeling the Christmas spirit... Christmas day itself was exactly four weeks since Dim Sim passed away. Left to my own devices, I would have had a quiet day of doing nothing. But as I was not on my own, I had a quiet day of lunch with my parents.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, everyone was scrabbling around to get the Coles special Christmas products, which included some vegan gravy, a vegan roast, and a vegan vanilla pudding with chocolate sauce. I managed to score all three of them. (Though we didn't eat the gravy until after Christmas, so keep an eye out for that in a future post.)

Coles Christmas Foods

For lunch, we kept it simple. One of the new very easy things I tried was Maple Glazed Carrots from one of my newer cookbooks, the Kindness Community Vegan Cookbook. These had a nice citrus kick from orange juice, and had thyme and garlic and bay leaves as well. Rather than usual cute Dutch carrots with the tops still on, I could only get regular big carrots so I just cut them on a diagonal.
Rating: :)

Maple Glazed Carrots

Served these on a platter with some cranberry sauce from a jar, and some green beans that were steamed in their packet in the microwave. As I said, keeping it easy.

Maple Carrots, cranberry sauce, steamed green beans

The Coles Christmas Roast was delicious! I was sad I only got one of them, if they bring them back next year I will get a couple. It was not too heavy or too dry, and had a really nice savoury flavour. It came with some chutney in the box, which is served gently heated.

Coles Christmas Roast and Chutney

And we made the Potato Squashers from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan, which we make every year for Christmas.

Coles Christmas Roast and Chutney and Potato Squashers

My mum made this Feta, Watermelon, and Cucumber salad that we got out of the Coles Christmas magazine. We used Sheese Feta in it. It also had olives and mint, and I used celerey for some crunch in place of raw red onion. This was really lovely, sweet and salty and fresh.

Feta, Watermelon, and Cucumber Salad from Coles Magazine

A plate full of food.

Christmas Lunch

For dessert, we had some Christmas pudding from Coles, which happened to be vegan. I served mine with some Alpro custard.

Coles Christmas Pudding and Alpro Custard

We had the Vegan vanilla sponge pudding the following day. It is just heated up in the microwave. I was a little suspicious as there was some coconut cream in the chocolate sauce. But while I could taste a hint of coconut, it was in such a small quantity that a serve didn't have any ill effect on me. This pudding is great! Again, wish I could have bought more than one. They should really have it year round, as there is nothing particularly Christmas-y about vanilla with chocolate sauce.

Coles Vanilla Sponge Pudding

As for presents, I got two new cookbooks that I was really excited for! Also a Buffy colouring book and the DVD of Cats. I love that movie and I don't care what anyone thinks! I also love listening to podcasts where they trash talk that movie. It is just a gift that never stops giving. I saw it two times in the movies, back in those blissful pre-COVID days.

Christmas Presents

Christmas Presents

My mum also ordered me some goodies from this place she saw on a FB advertisment. Sometimes advertising does pay! Some salted caramel and spiced maple covered nuts, ginger cookies, chocolate fudge cookies, and some rose berry and orange ginger truffles. My friends, these were all legit delicious! I'd never heard of this brand, but they were ah-may-zing.

Christmas Presents

Christmas Present Chocolates

In the following days, I of course made some sandwiches with leftover roast and chutney. I also added some baby spinach and some mayo. Very good.

Leftover Coles roast and chutney sandwich

Anyway, three and a bit months after the fact, but there you go. It was a sad day, though it was nice to spend it doing some traditional things. But a lot less effort than I normally go to. Sometimes taking it easy is the way to go. I am also taking this Easter Sunday easy, as I am sick and had to go get a COVID test this morning. So lots of resting today.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Midweek Munchies

Random random random round-up of things I bought and ate in times past.

I'm not a big popcorn fan, but these were on sale for 99c each and I thought the flavours sounded fun. The Chicken Seasoning one was just OK, the flavour wasn't very strong. But the Raspberry Apple one was amazing, so much flavour!! Plus, probiotics. Do you need probiotics in popcorn? Do they even do anything? I don't know, but I was amused. Not pictured is the banana flavour, which I bought for my friend who wanted to try it and it was just as gross as you think it would be.

Weird popcorn

A random sandwich I made with some cashew cheese spread, Made With Plants bacon, and pickles. It might sound strange, but it was great.

Cashew Cheese, Bacon, and Pickle Sandwich

A more traditional sandwich, the trusty BLAT. Made With Plants bacon, avocado, tomato, spinach, and mayo. I love any variation on a BLT.


Continental released a range of silly packets of soup called 'Nutrish', several of which were vegan. This is the green one, 'Peas Be Mine', which has peas, broccoli, spirulina (okay), and chicory root fibre (sure....). It was... fine. A perfectly fine green soup.

Nutrish Soup Green

I found a packet of this pudding mix lurking around in my cupboard, so I made it. It is meant to be 'instant', though I chilled it a bit. Made with oat milk, it was pretty thin. Unfortunately, the reason that it is sugar free is because it has stevia in it, so it had that gross stevia after taste that I don't like. I mixed a buch of strawberry jam in it after the photo, which helped.

Instant Strawberry Pudding

Woolworths released their own vegan cookie under their Plantitude brand. They are Granola Chocolate Chip, and are really nice. Chewy, and not too sweet.

Plantitude Granola Choc Chip Cookies

Plantitude Granola Choc Chip Cookies

Final for this post, this Strawberry Mallow Out Bar. It's good! It is basically a thin chocolate coating around a bar of strawberry marshmallow.

Strawberry Mallow Bar

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Midweek Munchies: Supermarket things

A photo dump of some new vegan things I have seen in supermarkets over the last several months! Some of these things I have tried, so look for them in upcoming posts.

First up is a whole bunch of things from Coles.

Nature's Kitchen Pizzas

Things at Coles

Things at Coles

Things at Coles

Things at Coles

Things at Coles

Things at Coles

Things at Coles

Things at Coles

Things at Coles

Things at Coles

Things at Coles

And finally a few things from Woolworths!

Plantry Frozen Meals

Praise Vegan Aioli

Praise Vegan Mayo seen in shops

Made with Plants Sauces at WW